GCxGC-ToF-MS Identification of Compounds in the Toxic Hydrocarbon Unresolved Complex Mixture (UCM) of Crude Oils

P.A. Sutton1, E.L. Smith1, A.M. Booth1, S.J. Rowland1, C.A. Lewis1, A.C. Lewis2 and J. Hamilton2


Petroleum and Environmental Geochemistry Group, School of Environmental Sciences, University of Plymouth, Drake Circus, Plymouth PL4 8AA, U.K.
2 School of the Environment and School of Chemistry, University of Leeds, Leeds LS2 9JT, U.K.

Presented at: 1st International Symposium on Comprehensive Multidimensional Gas Chromatography, Volendam, The Netherlands, 6th-7th March 2003.

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Brief Summary

Commonly referred to as 'humps', unresolved complex mixtures (UCMs) of hydrocarbons present in crude oils (obvious features of one-dimensional gas chromatograms of biodegraded oils) are probably the most complex mixtures on Earth. Specifically, the monoaromatic UCM appears to be of particular environmental relevance as it has been demonstrated to impair the feeding rate of mussels (Mytilus edulis). Knowledge of UCM composition is therefore crucial to an improved understanding of the environmental fate and toxicity of oil components. Comprehensive GCxGC-ToF-MS analysis of aromatic UCMs suggests that sub-fractionation of this bulk oil fraction can lead to a more focused assessment of aromatic UCM toxicity potential

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